crime writer

About Leo

Leo McNeir

Leo McNeir is the author of the series of crime novels with a waterways setting featuring Marnie Walker, her lover Ralph Lombard, her close friend Anne Price (sometimes known as "Anne with an ‘e’ ") and several others. He doesn’t guarantee that all the characters, even some of the central core, will feature in every book. Some of them may get bumped off from time to time. That’s crime fiction for you!

When not writing novels, Leo is a linguist and lexicographer. As director of The European Language Initiative he has compiled and edited twelve dictionaries in fifteen languages since the first one was published by Cassell in 1993.

They include the official dictionaries of the National Assembly for Wales (English and Welsh), the Scottish Parliament (English and Gaelic) and a joint project for the Irish Parliament and the Northern Ireland Assembly (English and Irish).

For the record, the others are specialist dictionaries in Basque, Catalan, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Scottish Gaelic and Spanish.

 Leo and his team have produced an online spell-checker for Scottish Gaelic, the first of its kind, in collaboration with Microsoft. They have also published a Gaelic thesaurus. Further publications in Gaelic and English include specialist dictionaries for local government and for public administration. Their latest project produced an expanded third edition of the dictionary for the Scottish Parliament and an expansion of the Gaelic spell-checker.

Leo and his wife, cookery writer Cassandra McNeir, live in a 300 year-old cottage in Northamptonshire. Until recently they shared it with their cat, Mog, who adopted them in 2002. He died in January 2014.

Their previous cat, Dolly, died in a road accident shortly before the first novel was published in 2000. She lives on in this series of novels.

Until recently they kept a narrowboat on the Grand Union Canal not far from their home in a village that bears no resemblance whatever to the imaginary village of Knightly St John, described in the books.